Dubai is a regional, vibrant economic hub with strategically competitive sectors such as tourism, trade and logistics, real estate, retail, financial services, healthcare, and education. It is equipped with the world’s busiest airport, the world’s tallest building, and the 9th largest port in the world. The Smart Dubai initiative was launched in 2014 to focus the city’s unified effort towards its most valued asset — its people. The vision of Smart Dubai is: “To become the happiest city on earth.” Dubai also aims to become the smartest city in the world by harnessing digital innovation. It seeks to take its smart city transformation to a level such that digital transformation has a significant and positive impact on the city. Therefore, Smart Dubai strategically embraces technology innovation to make city experiences seamless, safe, personalized, and efficient, delivering an enhanced quality of life and ensuring sustainability. Numerous actual implementations, as well as proofs of concepts, have been undertaken as part of the Smart Dubai initiative, such as massive Internet of Things (IoT) systems, data analytics, blockchain, hyperloop projects, innovative 3D printing initiatives, autonomous vehicles, and drones trials, robotics, and artificial intelligence applications.
Smart Dubai launched in 2017 its 5-year smart city strategy Smart Dubai 2021, which encompasses six dimensions: living, governance, environment, economy, mobility, and people. The strategy also entails four cross-sectoral initiatives such as creating seamless city experiences and a paperless city, using shared and open data as a strategic asset to achieve city impact, creating internal government efficiency as a strategic competitive advantage and establishing a global and city-wide robust inclusive ecosystem accelerating Smart Dubai implementation. The Dubai Paperless Strategy addresses technology, legislation, and cultural issues to digitize 100 percent of government services by 2021, with no paper being used for any internal or external transactions, thus reaching a pinnacle in city digitization. The strategy entails redesigning all main city sectors, including mobility, energy, environment, society, education, health and public services, and related city experiences. Connected transport is just one of the benefits enjoyed by Dubai dwellers as part of this over-arching strategy.